The SC on May 5 ordered the Centre to arrange 700 MT oxygen in Delhi at any cost. In addition, it has asked the Centre to make a comprehensive plan to regulate oxygen supply in the national capital.
Delhi Needs Urgent Oxygen Supply
The situation in Delhi is pathetic. Patients are dying due to a lack of oxygen supply. The SC has ordered the Centre to arrange 700 MT oxygen on a daily basis in Delhi. Besides that, a tabulated chart will also be presented on May 6 at 10:30 am. It should contain verified sources that will supply oxygen to Delhi. Secondly, the provisions for transport and logistical preparations. And thirdly, oxygen distribution points. This lack of oxygen is causing tremendous anxiety in the national capital.
SC Orders to Regulate Oxygen Supply in Delhi
The court has urged Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the matter. On April 30, an order was issued by the SC. It stated that Delhi will receive 700 MT oxygen by May 5 midnight. However, till May 5 noon, 351 MT oxygen was supplied. The bench of judges stayed a Delhi HC order initiating contempt against Centre’s officers. They were asked to regulate the oxygen supply in Delhi. Currently, the national capital is battling a devastating second wave of pandemic.
No Point in Blaming the Officers
Meanwhile, Justice Chandrachud reasoned that there is no point blaming the officers. Justice Shah stated that contempt is when something is done willfully. On the other hand, COVID-19 is a national crisis. The Centre cannot be blamed for not doing anything. He questioned Tushar Mehta over his plans for oxygen distribution and assessment in Delhi. The SC has asked the officials to take the help of the Maharashtra government. Just like Maharashtra installed storage tanks, so should Delhi. There is no wrong with taking inspiration.
Measures Taken by SC
The SC has asked the Centre to give transparent data about the allocation of oxygen. It has asked to address several aspects such as availability of tankers, oxygen train status, etc. in Delhi. Mr Mehta informed that the industrial use of oxygen has been stopped for now. There is 9000 MT of liquid oxygen for use now. But the question is how to divide it among states? The experts proposed a rough-and-ready formula. It is based on the number of ICU and non-ICU beds in a state. However, the SC called it an ‘oxygen-for-bed’ formula.
The bench clearly mentioned that they aren’t criticizing the government at all. All they want the Centre to re-look over the oxygen supply issue. There are a lot of people who are dying due to a lack of oxygen. On the other hand, home isolated patients also need oxygen. Delhi received 555 MT oxygen on May 4t.